May – October 2015
This month, the inaugural class of Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) Fellows concluded the first national fellowship for personalized learning. The six-month program was established to introduce public school district leaders to personalized learning models and approaches, and support them in their preparations for implementation. Each of the ten districts made significant strides toward developing and codifying their vision and laying out their strategy for moving forward.
The initial cohort of fellows included eight superintendents and two assistant superintendents, selected from over 50 applicants representing districts of all sizes from across the country. They were: Theron Schutte, Bettendorf Community School District (IA); Dr. Victor P. Hayek, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional (NJ); Rich Merlo, Corcoran Unified School District (CA); Dr. Ross Kasun, Freehold Township (NJ); Christine Lay, Gettysburg Area (PA); Nancy Allen-Mastro, Independent School District 197 (MN); Rick Robins, Juab School District (UT); Gabe Soumakian, Oxnard Union High School District (CA); John F. Albrecht, Wayne-Westland Community Schools (MI); and Blane McCann, Westside Community Schools (NE).
The Lexington Institute selected Silicon Valley-based Education Elements, a recognized national leader in the design and implementation of personalized learning programs, as its partner for the Fellowships. Education Elements provided all of the technical expertise, led workshops, and facilitated design thinking seminars for fellows.
We are deeply grateful to a remarkable team of some of the nation’s most accomplished personalized learning leaders for their generosity in sharing their insights and experiences with fellows over the course of the program: Cynthia Ambrose, Loudoun County Schools, VA; Dr. Kenneth Eastwood and Amy Creeden, Enlarged City School District of Middletown, NY; Dr. James Bailey, Uinta County School District, WY.
LELA Fellows convene May 6-9, 2015 at the Education Elements Personalized Learning Summit, at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California, where they heard from keynote speakers including Google’s Jaime Casap and Yammer’s Adam Pisoni.
LELA Fellows tour Facebook’s Silicon Valley Campus.
In facilitated workshops with their school districts’ instructional leadership teams over the summer, LELA fellows applied design thinking techniques to create visual depictions of their personalized learning visions for their schools. At the fellowship’s closing session in Washington, DC, each fellow presented a pitch to the group based upon their vision for personalizing.
LELA Fellows meet with Richard Culatta, Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Technology, in Washington, DC.
The inaugural class of LELA Fellows conclude their six-month fellowship in Washington, DC with an afternoon of workshops at President Lincoln’s Cottage, reporting out on their progress personalizing education for students in their districts, and a celebratory dinner. We look forward to following their progress, and to publishing profiles that describe their work in the months to come.
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